There can’t be too many digital marketing channels that are clearly letting down the people who pump the money in at the top as well as the consumers that campaigns are expected to reach. And in so doing, isn’t it sometimes letting itself down too?
That’s the dubious honour that belongs to influencer marketing after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a probe into social media influencers who are not coming clean on financial arrangements behind tweets, pictures and posts.
The marketing authorities could not be clearer and have been pushing the marketing niche to ensure that those who take money for posts are up front about it, most easily achieved with the addition of #ad or #sponsored. I was chatting twith my kids about this the moment the news broke that the sector was being investigated. Their answer was quite startling. Apparently, they are completely used to stars flogging «merch» (merchandise) and bigging up the brands they like without hashtags making it obvious the content has been paid for.
They are also getting used to celebrities and influencers putting a dozen hashtags at the end of the post with one in the middle that is hidden away admitting it’s an #ad. Perhaps more worrisome, several influencers they are aware of are starting to use their own tags. Apparently, #sp is being used by some which, we presume, is short for «sponsored»?
The point is, all of this is designed to cover up ads as natural posts. It’s not just influencers who do this — publishers are notorious for it. In fact, I complained to a local paper just the other day that a sponsored article didn’t make it clear that it was sponsored until readers clicked through. This is, of course, against every IAB UK and Content Marketing Association guideline ever laid out which suggest clarity on native advertising. The feedback I got was that the editorial team in question agree they should be following these guidelines but the bosses at HQ still need some convincing. They presumably prefer the better click-through rate when a piece of content with a strong headline appears to be editorial, rather than advertorial.
— Leer en www.mediapost.com/publications/article/323829/